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Willie Mays, Local Baseball Hero

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 30, 2010

I love baseball.

Willie Mays played for the Giants when I was a Bay Area kid, and he was rightly an icon.

There is a new biography about him that just has come out. I have heard the writer of the biography interviewed on radio a couple times, and Willie seems to be promoting it too. (If his showing up on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is to be considered a promotional interview.)

Willie is our Atherton neighbor, and what a wonderful neighbor to have.

What can we remember about him as a Giant? I only have seen it on video, I was too young at the time, but his over the shoulder catch and then throwing the baseball to home plate to get a runner out is a classic.

How about a thread getting started about memorable things that we have experienced with Willie Mays or the Giants in general?

I for one could use a little break from the usual things that require our attention.

Comments (3)

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Posted by Garin
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Mays was an excellent athlete. However, the thing that made him special was his flair for the game. He gave the fan the sense that he loved playing ball, probably because he did. He also understood that it was, in the end, entertainment. He was famous for losing his cap as he ran after a long fly ball...this was by design, becasue he wore a cap that was too big for his head. In his prime, it was worth the price of admission to watch him swing and miss...he really let 'er rip! He had an instict for the game that he loved.

On the other hand, Mays was often criticized at Candlestick, because he popped up too much. If he hit a home run off Koufax, then why couldn't he routinely hit home runs off mortal pitchers? Too much was expected of him. He was human, after all.

In my mind his legacy will be his joy of playing, not any particular play. "The Catch" has been exceeded many times by others, especially Jim Edmonds...but nobody did it with such gusto.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2010 at 6:06 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

And of course, Jolt'in Joe DiMaggio. His honeymoon with Marilin Monroe cottage is just up the hill a bit from here. His fisherman dad was not allowed below Benicia [enemy alien, you know].
How many remember Tony Koester[?] broadcasting the Sacramento Solons - for away games he got the play by play from a telegrapher whose clicker you heard in the background, and Tony "recreated" the game with recorded crowd noise and various other sound effects. Railroad telegraphers would often win saloon bets on whether the next pitch [already telegraphed] was a strike, hit or ball. I was a CW [tone] telegrapher and could never read clicks. Pity.


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Posted by Bambi
a resident of Downtown North
on May 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Mr Mays is such a nice man. He opens his home to Tricker Treaters on Halloween and gives away signed baseballs. Nice to know a local guy is so down to earth and such a hero to so many. Thanks so much WM.


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